Rotorua Daily Post

sports reporter

David Beck

takes a look at the past week of sport.


Who would be a goal kicker?

Get out your calculators because it's business time in the Baywide Premier rugby competition and, mathematically, semifinal spots are still up for grabs with two rounds left.

Whakarewarewa went into the weekend sitting fourth and, playing sixth-placed Rangataua at home, knew they needed a win to stay there.

It was a fascinating game throughout which Whakarewarewa were always in the lead.

However, every time they pulled ahead and looked set to cruise to victory, Rangataua struck back. Going into the final minute Whaka led 35-33 but gave away a very kickable penalty right in front of the posts.

The Rangataua players celebrated as if they had won the game, nobody considered goal kicker John Ririnui would miss. But he did, handing Whakarewarewa a crucial bonus point win.

It's the kind of Hollywood-worthy script that sport regularly produces. Ririnui played more than 50 games for Whaka before moving to Rangataua. Looking at others on the sideline, none could believe what had just happened.

You have to feel for the kicker, it's match-winning opportunities like that which you dream of, but it wasn't his day. To their credit, the Whaka players went straight to him to comfort him in a great example of sportsmanship, which was nice to see.


Matata a shining light for women's rugby

The Matata women's rugby team have finished the Baywide Premier round-robin with no wins from six games and a points differential of -366.

But, you wouldn't know it.

Women's rugby in New Zealand is quickly gathering momentum.

Matata joined the Baywide competition this season boasting just two players with any rugby experience. The rest of the team just wanted to give it a go and their effort this season cannot be questioned.

Yes, they failed to win a game, but that was not the focus in their debut season. Just having enough players to enter a new team is a victory.

Getting a handle on the many different rules of the game and consistently improving each week was worth celebrating.

I watched Matata play Whakarewarewa two weeks ago. They lost 69-0 but the positivity and enthusiasm they approach the game with is so good to watch. It's so refreshing to watch a team just absolutely loving being out on the field.

I hope the women of Matata enjoyed their first season as much as they appeared to and sign up again next year, it will only benefit the competition.

And how about the Football World Cup ...

Argentina and Portugal are gone, along with their superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Spain were knocked out by Russia in a penalty shootout. This World Cup has provided more entertainment and upsets than we could dream of.

The best part for me is watching the English fans get more and more excited with every win. They truly believe the World Cup is 'coming home' and the hype around their national side is bordering on hysteria.

I'll leave you with one England fan's prediction of what the future might look like if they win, which I found on Twitter; "The date is August 28, 2018, the UK has experienced its 77th consecutive day without a cloud in the sky. Corona bottle tops are now used as currency, nobody has been to work for five weeks. Harry Maguire was last seen riding a cow with the World Cup down M5. Lingard is still missing."